Mobile gaming means something different now than it did just over a decade ago. Back then, it was summed up in one word, “Nintendo.” Sony’s PSP was managing to also exist alongside Nintendo, but they never got close to dominating the market the way “The House of Mario” did.
Back during this time, there were a couple of games on those fancy new flip-phones, but they were kind of lame. Something about a snake avoiding its own tail and the unending enigma of Minesweeper maybe? Smartphones changed that when they literally put a supercomputer in the palm of everyone’s hand. Mobile gaming has never been the same since.
Yes. Apple got the ball rolling on app-based gaming. Got to mention that in case a Macolyte gets their feelings hurt (Introducing the new iCry). That said, it didn’t take long for Android to become a major player in the field. And since Android is an open platform, more indie developers can get their ideas to market.
It can even be said that Android game development has become the proving ground where the next generation of creative geniuses can test their ideas and kick start their careers – literally.
Some longtime industry vets have even gone back to their roots, in a sense, by making mobile games and taking a break from the grind of major studios and the pressures of AAA game design. It doesn’t always have to be about artistic genius either. Sometimes a game is just simple fun. And for the Android platform, this is why gaming on it rocks.
Retro gaming is popular for a couple of reasons. One is that undeniable nostalgia factor. The kids who grew up spending their allowances, one quarter at a time, at the arcade and melting their eyeballs three feet from a CRT screen have fond memories of the games from that golden era. There are also new players who are discovering how amazing some of the games released a decade or two before they were born. It’s like every new generation discovering Black Sabbath or David Bowie for the first time.
Android is the only mobile platform for emulators, assuming you haven’t jailbroken your iPhone. They can be official or unofficial. Either way, if you want the best out of classic gaming without having to spend a fortune on old consoles and arcade cabinets, this is the only way to go.
The top selling games usually involve lots of guns, explosions, along with the occasional dismemberment and mutant overlords.
It’s been that way for a while, which is why it’s nice when we get a break from it. Samorost 3 is a cute and fun adventure game where you play a gnome exploring an interesting little universe with planetoids and all sorts of mysteries and secrets to uncover, all locked inside a steampunk dragon that was killed by an evil wizard.
Before I get yelled at in the comments section about Samorost 3 not being exclusive to Android, there’s a reason I included it. The game is beautiful and fun. It’s more than a generic Mario inspired side-scroller or Metroidvania game.
This game is solid proof that an Android device is a legitimate gaming platform. Most of you already know this, but there are far too many members of the PC Master Race or Diehard Console Owners who tend to turn up their noses at mobile games. If you are one of these types, you are missing out on some great titles.
The Indie Game You Haven’t Heard of Yet
Whether you’re a gaming hipster or a hardcore gamer looking for something new and unique, an Android device is the perfect place to look. Most mobile games eventually go multi-platform. Either they’re designed that way, or once it starts making money, the developers spend some of that cash to make the jump to other operating systems. That’s one of the beautiful things about some of the mobile games. They are relatively simple to port.
Still, many of these indie titles get their start as an Android app, thanks to the open source architecture being accessible to a person with only a little coding knowledge and a dream. On any given day, there’ll be scores of new games made for an Android device to choose from. Most of them may not be anything special, but every once in awhile, a real gem will be found.